June 25th, 2017 was one of the best days of my life – the day I married the man of my dreams, Matt! We had an absolutely incredible day at the beautiful The Barn at Kennedy Farm in Indianapolis. The weather was perfect, all of the vendors were on time, and honestly everything went on without a hitch. So much so that I still think someone is hiding something from me….
But the day did not go so smoothly without a TON of planning. Fun fact about Hope: I am probably the most plan and structure oriented person you’ll ever meet. We’re talking agendas to everyone involved in the wedding, decorating packets, timelines, and so much more (which may be a freebie in the future!). I’m a little surprised Matt still married me after all of that!
My biggest concern during planning was having a beautiful wedding, but not spending every dollar I earned to do so (or my parents’ – thanks guys!). I can’t stress this enough – have at least a vague idea of what you want. The style, the cost, the colors. This makes the planning go a lot smoother when you have 8 beautiful options sitting in front of you.
So here are a few things I did to cut the cost:
Skip Save the Dates
Honestly, people won’t miss them. Just send your invites a few weeks earlier then normal, 8 weeks ahead of time instead of 6 weeks, and your guests should have plenty of time to plan. Plus, those closest to you should already know the date before the invites!
Guys. My maid honor has a good friend who is an amazing artist. I hired her to custom design the invitation suite including the invite, details card, and postcard RSVP so that it was exactly what I wanted and so cost effective! We had them printed at UPS and I still hear how much everyone loved the invites! Thanks so much Katie!
I searched for hours for the perfect free font downloads on Pinterest, then used Photoshop to make the programs myself! It may have taken a while, but it saved us a lot of money and it was a lot of fun too! Trust me, I am no Photoshop expert, and it really wasn’t hard at all!
If you haven’t had a cake from my Grandma Sue, you haven’t lived because wooow so great. And how lucky am I that she wanted to make the cakes? The ‘naked cakes’ scared gram, so we bought our cut cake from a local bakery and spent $100 total on cakes. Boom.
Be open. I knew that I wanted people to stay a while after the ceremony and for a Sunday wedding, I also knew that having just snacks and dessert would encourage people to leave early. So we compromised and skipped the plated dinner, then went with a buffet dinner with Nameless Catering instead. And guess what? People loved it!
Be creative and be resourceful! If you find something you like on Pinterest, who said that you have to buy it on Etsy or at Hobby Lobby? I knew that I wanted a big a-frame chalkboard, a big welcome sign out front, another big sign for the seating arrangement, and a sign for the ring bearer. If I bought all of those things, it would have easily cost me $300. Instead, I went to Lowe’s and bought wood (which they also cut for us – praise hands) and chalkboard paint. Matt helped me build, stain and paint everything, and we did it for about $25. SCORE.
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Have a plan for what you want! Be specific with your plan and go shopping to see who has the best prices. Plus, many places constantly have coupons! For example, I wanted a lot of votives for table decorations. I started buying them months in advance, one case at a time whenever I got 50% off coupons at Michael’s – it saved me $150 to be patient!
Do you have any other money saving wedding planning tips? Share them in the comments! Now enjoy even more pictures from our wedding day courtesy of Danielle Harris Photography because I love them and can’t stop sharing!
Okay I’m done now!